What, spring pictures aren't taken at your kids' school? Your school must not be part of the Lifetouch Mafia.
A few years ago, our school switched from a local photographer to Lifetouch, purveyors of digital backgrounds and full-body shots. The jaded former photographer wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper to let us all know of this change.
What it came down to, he said, was assignment notebooks. For exclusive rights to take our kids' pictures, Lifetouch would give our school a bunch of assignment notebooks. And our school took the deal.
And with it came a new phenomenon: spring pictures. But the deal with these are they take them on spec, send the whole package home with the kids, and if you want to buy them, send money back. If you don't want to buy them, send the pictures back.
If only it were that easy.
I find it ridiculous to send these pictures home with kids. Kids that ride the bus. Kids that lose mittens. Kids that have little-to-no-concept of economics and only know that if you take something, you'd better have paid for it. Since they got the pictures, they must have been paid for, right?
|"Listen here, Toots. Either you take this picture or wake up with a horse's head in your Barbie bed. Your choice."|
For the past two years, Larry Potter has brought these pictures home, wanting to keep them. And each year, I put them back in his backpack and instructed him to return them to his teacher. AND, two out of two years, about mid-June when I'm doing an overhaul cleaning, I find his stolen pictures deep in a drawer I don't normally go in.
He gets a stern talking to and a punishment. Which is pretty much all I can do at that point.
So this year, I am pro-active. I told Hoover's teacher that I didn't want him taking the pictures. She said, "Everyone has to take them." Later that day, LP said his teacher told him the same thing.
What is going on? If it's a matter of a contract fulfillment, I am well within my boundaries as a parent to have first-refusal of something that involves a picture of my kids. It seems to me like this is some version of mafia protection. I will happily return my son's $8 assignment notebook. "Everyone has to take them," seems a little extreme. (And I know this isn't the teachers talking...it's some party line from higher ups.)
I wrote an e-mail to the principal, the district administrator and the boys' teachers (just to let them know what I sent), expressing my parental veto on these pictures. I mean, if it works for sex ed and vaccinations, certainly something as trivial as pictures will be covered. I haven't heard back yet, but if I get any grief about this, I will conveniently show up at their picture times and hold them back. Come at me with your tripod, bro.
I can just say it's against our religion. I believe in not turning my kids into make-shift bill collectors for shitty pictures I didn't order in the first place.